The term ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ was popularised by Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel, which was turned into a movie in 2018, and became a worldwide sensation. The history of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is rooted in the economic boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s in Asia. Since then, Asian economies have seen a drastic increase in their GDP; resulting in an increase of millionaires in the region. With this rising wealth, the richest have been able to take back their history and sell it. After their artifacts such as ancient scripts from the Qin dynasty had been sold or taken unfairly.
Today, these pieces are being sold back; for instance, a tiny tiger pendant from the Zhou dynasty is currently being auctioned for 260,000 USD. Something which should be given back as Kevin Kwan notes when one of the book's main characters; ‘Nick’ tells his fiancée; ‘Rachel’: “thankfully the tide has turned” - “The mainland Chinese are finally interested in buying back their own heritage, and they only want the best.” Along with buying back their heritage.
As well as buying their artifacts, Asians are also re-selling their culture back to Westerners who are interested in this undiscovered rich Asian lifestyle which is all quite new and ‘bling’. They are doing this through selling movies, books, and TV shows such as ‘Bling Empire’ which rated top-5 on Netflix in Australia by early February this year. I watched the show and understood it to be centred around wealthy Asians living in Los Angeles with their rich friends. In honour of this year's Lunar Festival (Chinese New Year) - I went along and reviewed the new hit Netflix TV series; to fully understand the rise in interest in this TV series I compared it to its precursor, and start-up; Kevin Kwan's 2013 best-selling novel; ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and found there to be similarities in the drama which unfolds in both novel and TV series. To me, this comes at a perfect time as with the end of this year's Chinese New Year, is translated into a time of family coming together but also unfolding of drama, and a time for friends to gossip.
Contrary to Kevin Kwan's novel in ‘Bling Empire’ not all their friends are from Singapore but all similarly enjoy money, they enjoy to show how much they spend on homes, shoes, clothes, and cars. They hold huge parties to impress their friends, and love being the centre of attention, so everyone's personal life becomes everyone's business. Who is worth how much, who inherited how much, who sold their house for how much? People are so interested in these top percentiles that all I can find on the internet now when I search up ‘Bling Empire’ is journalists trying to dig-up dirt on these people; how Anna Shay’s family sold guns in the Vietnamese war. In analysing the similarities between the book and TV show further, I found that the root cause of the drama unfolding in both series and novel lies in a culture which is shaped by the patriarchy to the disadvantage of women, thus creating an atmosphere of envy, and judgement.